President Donald Trump is reportedly on the verge of changing the judiciary in two significant ways that could reverberate for decades to come.
First, this week the GOP-led Senate confirmed conservative justices Judge Joseph Bianco and Michael Park to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Two vacancies remain on the court, and if the president manages to fill both with conservatives, the court will finally lean to the right.
“When Trump makes additional appointments for vacancies that will be left by two judges who recently announced their retirements, Dennis Jacobs and Christopher Droney, the 13-member court will be majority Republican-appointed,” Bloomberg Law has confirmed.
This matters because of the power that the Second Circuit, as it’s commonly known, wields.
“Based in the nation’s financial capital, the Second Circuit has been called the ‘Mother Court’ of securities law and has been the center of high-profile cases including the NFL’s ‘Deflategate’ controversy.”
The court reportedly covers Connecticut, New York and Vermont. This too matters because now that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion has concluded, “the focus of Trump-related investigations” has shifted to New York, according to Bloomberg.
As a result, members of the left aren’t pleased by the latest judicial confirmations:
Obama appointee Judge Christopher Droney is retiring from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, leaving a vacancy for a Trump appointee. This would flip the Circuit to GOP control. Guess which courts are in the Second Circuit – SDNY & EDNY. God help us all. https://t.co/znGrNdjTlv
— Leah Catherine (@MsLeahCatherine) April 16, 2019
Regarding the Second Circuit’s two latest justices, they appear to exude conservative exceptionalism.
“Joseph Bianco has a proven track record of fairly applying the law and adhering to the Constitution,” Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network said to The Daily Caller. “I enthusiastically applaud the Senate for confirming him and am confident he will be an exceptional judge on the 2nd Circuit.”
The same applies to Park.
In 2015 he reportedly became a partner at Consovoy McCarthy Park, a boutique law firm that “has become the go-to legal shop for conservative ideologues looking to fight everything from voting rights to affirmative action to abortion,” according to liberal bellyachers.
In other words, for years he’s been working for a law firm that’s dedicated to standing up to regressive left-wing ideas regarding racial quotas and abortion, among others. Moreover, he reportedly once clerked for conservative Justice Samuel Alito on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to the confirmation votes this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both of whom are white, criticized Park, who appears to have Asian ancestry, accusing him of being an “extremist right-wing” pick and Federalist Society “stooge.”
Earlier this year the NAACP likewise issued a statement slamming Park for his alleged “hostility” toward civil rights. Their beef specifically was with his support for voter ID laws.
— Kevin Daley 🏛 (@KevinDaleyDC) May 10, 2019
As of early May 2019, the president had reportedly already appointed over 100 conservatives judges and flipped the Pennsylvania-based Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Second, in a speech on Wednesday to the Federalist Society, Vice President Mike Pence revealed that the president plans to challenge the power of district court judges to issue nationwide injunctions.
“The kind of government control that our Founders were concerned about is too often exerted by the administrative state in this country,” Pence explained. “And it’s been emerging in recent years in the federal judiciary in tIfhe form of nationwide injunctions,” he said.
“The Supreme Court of the United States must clarify that district judges can decide no more than the cases before them,” he added shortly thereafter. “And it’s imperative that we restore the historic tradition that district judges do not set policy for the whole nation.”
“In the days ahead, our administration will seek opportunities to put this very question before the Supreme Court to ensure that decisions affecting every American are made either by those elected to represent the American people or by the highest court in the land.”
Thanks to “obstruction,” as the vice president referred to it, by district judges, a bevy of the Trump administration’s policies have been blocked or even outright eliminated.
Take former President Barack Hussein Obama’s widely panned Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for illegal aliens. Though Trump announced plans to phase it out of existence two years ago, the program still remains active because of judicial interference.
“This obstruction at the district [court] level is unprecedented,” Pence noted in his speech Thursday. “Studies show that there’s not a single example of a nationwide injunction in the first 175 years of our nation’s history. The truth is, our administration has been unfairly hit with more nationwide injunctions than the first 40 American presidents combined.”
If the Trump administration were to flip the Second Circuit and eliminate nationwide injunctions, it would become significantly easier for both it and future conservative administrations to push ahead with their voter-supported agendas.
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